Blooming into Life
by Kristie Booker
GENRE: Women’s Fiction
Growing up on a farm in Brockville, Illinois, did not prepare Colleen O’Brien Adler to be the wife of a wealthy entertainment lawyer living in Chicago. It certainly didn’t prepare her to be Dinah Adler’s daughter-in-law. The stay-at-home mother of two has more than she’s ever wanted—a personal stylist, a prestigious country club membership, a multimillion-dollar home—but she finds herself not only struggling with depression and body image but also failing as a parent and fearing for her marriage. Her life is about to change when an invitation to a wellness meeting arrives in her inbox. With some coaxing from personal coach Kory Stone, she commits to a new beginning. But will she be able to overcome the things that are holding her back?
“After several weeks on the medication, some weight loss is expected,” Dr. Bradley had assured her. She had weighed herself that morning. After she removed all of her clothing, emptied her bladder, removed her ponytail holder, blew her nose, emptied her bladder again, spit until she had nothing left to spit, she finally stepped on her brand-new Weight Gurus smart body fat scale. The digital number was as hateful as it had been a week earlier. Dr. Bradley told her to be patient. Colleen felt she was running out of time.
She unzipped the beige garment bag that held her social future. The hand-stitched embroidered silver stars exploded against the dark silk fabric. The two-toned navy silk gave the illusion of wide stripes draping down the skirt of the dress.
“The A-line cut and the tonal stripes create a wonderful slimming effect,” the sales associate had told her. If Colleen could jam herself into the reserve Raina Rose, she was going to stand out. For once, she would be better dressed than Ashley Barr and Victoria Heller. That night, Fourth of July would be the day of reckoning. She would let Jay and Dinah and the entire club see how beautiful she looked. She would finally be socially accepted within the country club circle, and then she would confront Jay about the woman in Los Angeles. Dinah would think twice about sending Colleen’s invitation late next year.
Welcome, Kristie Booker! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
I’m a wellness coach that also loves to write fun women’s fiction. I love coaching and inspiring women through my writing as well as through my coaching practice. I live in Chicago with my husband and two teenage sons. When I’m not writing or coaching, I spend a lot my time driving my boys to their various sporting activities. I enjoy quiet dinners at home or at one of our neighborhood restaurants. I begin every day with a great cup of coffee and let the day unfold the way it needs to.
Is Blooming Into Life a single title, or part of a series?
Blooming Into Life is a single title. I have considered using the wellness coach in another story but haven’t made up my mind.
What were your inspirations for the story?
My work as a wellness coach inspired my story. I began noticing how many women (myself included) measure their self-worth by the number on the scales, the price tag of their clothing, and the status of the social group they belong to. I realized this was all in the name of acceptance. So, I decided to write a story about a woman searching for acceptance.
Please share your setting for Blooming Into Life. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
The two places that the story takes place are both places I have lived. I currently live in Chicago. Brockville is a fictional town that is similar to my hometown of Chrisman, IL. The thing I like most about Chicago is exploring the various neighborhoods. Each one has something different to offer. If Brockville was real, I would really enjoy sitting on front porch of Farm Five Thirty Five.
When did the writing bug first bite?
After I graduated college, I began reading a lot of women’s fiction and slowly developed an interest in writing. Once I quit working to be a stay-at-home mom, my interest in writing lead me to take a writing workshop. I loved it and was thrilled when my instructor liked my writing.
Who are your favorite authors, book/series?
Some of my favorite authors include Sue Monk Kidd, Ann Patchett, Barbara Kingsolver, Elizabeth Berg, Elizabeth Gilbert, Barbara Delinsky, Judy Bloom, Jennifer Weiner, Liane Moriarty, Fannie Flagg, Kristin Hannah, John Grisham, John Irving, and Stephen King. I have so many favorite books. Most recent favorites are The Nest, Commonwealth, State of Wonder and Nightingale.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Sue Monk Kidd and Elizabeth Gilbert. I understand that Stephen and Barbara are friends and used to play in a band together. I would like to hear more about that and their friendship. Sue Monk Kidd would bring a lot of depth to the conversation and Liz Gilbert would keep things entertaining.
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I love to be outdoors. I walk outside every day (as long as it is above 20 and not raining). I enjoy planting flowers and growing vegetables in containers on my patio. I also enjoy listening to music while cooking and sipping on a nice glass of wine. And, of course, reading. I love reading great stories.
What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?
Put money aside for good editors. Whether they decide to traditionally publish or self-publish, they will need to pay for their own editing before submitting. Writing a book isn’t cheap, but writing a book takes a while so put money away to prepare for when you’re finished.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kristie Booker is the author of Blooming Into Life, a blogger and a Wellness Coach. She enjoys coaching and inspiring women through her writing as well as in person. Kristie is a wife and mother of two sons. She grew up in rural Illinois, but now lives in Chicago.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Kristie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.